Do You Need a Box Spring for Your Mattress?

Are you looking to upgrade your bed or make a change, but are unsure which components are vital and which you can ignore? Box spring is one of those things, and there are a few things that you need to determine if this accessory is necessary or not.

We've put together a summary of all things related to the box spring to assist you in figuring out what you need for your bed. Read on to have a full understanding of the different pieces of the bed, what their functions are and how they best serve you.

What is a Box Spring?

The name doesn’t do the best job of describing exactly what you’re dealing with. Essentially, a box spring is a supportive square that lifts up your mattress (mattress foundation). What’s interesting about the name of this piece is that often these product’s manufacturers have recently gone away from putting actual springs within their products.

Some do still have springs inside that aim the assist the bed with absorbing the weight of your body, which will ultimately assist with keeping your bed sturdy and supportive over time. For firmer mattresses, springs inside the foundation of the bed make it feel like you’re sleeping on a softer bed than you really are.

It’s perhaps true that the name came about to briefly describe its functionality by linking together the two words. The box holds up the piece that contains the springs?

Do you Really Need a Box Spring?

The simplicity of a box spring does not, in itself, answer the question of whether or not you need it. But, consider the alternative. If you choose not to use a box spring, what are you going to put your bed on?

Bed with a box springLet’s go through a few different options:

  • You can put your bed on the floor.
  • You can build your own mattress foundation to place your bed on.
  • Do you suspend it in the air? Maybe?
  • You can purchase an adjustable base

Ultimately, unless you want something in your room that is not aesthetically pleasing and not as comfortable as possible, then you will most likely want to invest in a box spring. Unless, by chance, money is not that significant concern for you. If you have the money to spend, you may want to look into an adjustable bed.

An adjustable base is just what it sounds like. It is a base that you can place your bed on. The base can be remotely controlled to flex, bend and lift up your mattress. Of course, there is a catch when considering this product (aside from the hefty price tag).

This product is not well suited for a traditional innerspring mattress. Instead, it would behoove you to look into purchasing a memory foam mattress to go along with your base.

Memory foam mattresses are sold by many different manufacturers and are touted as being a great option for almost every sleeper.

Read More: Box Springs vs. Slats

Something Else to Consider: Product Warranty

Surprisingly, many modern day mattresses that aren’t sold by memory foam companies still require that you use a box spring if you would like for your warranty to remain valid.

If you choose to go without and set your bed on an uneven surface that does not provide adequate support, it’s likely that wear and tear on the mattress is going to occur faster than it would if your bed were on box spring that provided some assurances in terms of support and equal ground.

image showing boxspring with a mattress on top of it

This is understandable. Mattresses advertise that they offer certain benefits that are expected to last for many years. The longevity of a bed’s softness, supportiveness, and any other advertised benefits are all dependent on the bed being used in the best of environments.

While it’s possible that the floors in your home might provide the actual adequate amount of support, mattress companies would rather not take that risk and end up losing money on seemingly faulty products.

Get More Info: How Long Do Mattresses Last?

Benefits to Using a Box Spring

We’ve addressed whether or not a box spring is an essential piece needing for your mattress. Now, it’s a good idea to discuss just how you can benefit from its use, aside from the fact that it helps to maintain your warranty and the longevity of your mattress.

They Elevate Your Bed

The first benefit is that it raises your bed. Something is pleasing to the eye about a bed that is elevated high off of the ground. Additionally, it can be cleaner. Having a high bed helps to prevent small pets from jumping up as well as preventing small insects from making their way up your bed and into the covers with you.

They Absorb Shock

When your mattress is laying on the ground, there is nothing to help it absorb shock. If you decide to jump on it or if you are a sleeper that tosses and turns, without utilizing a box spring, your mattress is going to succumb to repeated use over time much faster than it would with a box spring.

image of heavy gauge steel frame


The fact is that there are several alternatives to using a box spring below your mattress. If you want to put in on the floor, on a rug or anywhere else, you can think of, that is ultimately up to you. If your warranty makes no mention of its need, you can do what you wish.

For those of you who are interested in reaping the benefits of a box spring, there are a few things to consider. Do you want a product that contains springs, or are you just interested in the options that are aesthetically pleasing? Whatever the case may be, determine if you do really need a box spring is a personal decision you’re going to have to make to find a comfortable and long lasting sleep solution.


Our team covers as many areas of expertise as we do time zones, but none of us started here as a so-called expert on sleep. What we do share is a willingness to ask questions (lots of them), seek experts, and dig deep into conventional wisdom to see if maybe there might be a better path towards healthy living. We apply what we learn not only to our company culture, but also how we deliver information to our over 12.7M readers.

Sleep research is changing all the time, and we are 100% dedicated to keeping up with breakthroughs and innovations. You live better if you sleep better. Whatever has brought you here, we wish you luck on your journey towards better rest.

Sleep Advisor